Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods will miss next month’s Anzac Test and is in doubt for State of Origin I, with scans confirming he will miss up to six weeks with an ankle injury.
Woods suffered the injury in Sunday’s NRL loss to Newcastle at Hunter Stadium.
The injury is a huge blow to the Tigers who are on a four-game losing streak, for the Kangaroos who have lost their past three matches to the Kiwis and for NSW as they seek to regain the interstate shield.
“The scans have revealed ligament damage and bone bruising in his left ankle, with club medical staff advising that the prop forward will be sidelined for between four and six weeks,” Wests Tigers said in a statement on Monday.
Woods is the NRL’s leading metre eater after six rounds and the incumbent Australian and NSW starting prop would have been a near certain selection for the Kangaroos for the Anzac Test in Newcastle on May 6 under new Australian coach Mal Meninga.
A best case scenario for the Tigers would be a return for Woods in their round 11 match against Newcastle at Campbelltown Stadium on May 21.
That would give him just one game to impress NSW coach Laurie Daley before he selects his side for State of Origin I the following Tuesday.
Dene Halatau has captained the Tigers when Woods has been rested on the interchange bench this year and shapes as a likely captain of the joint venture in his absence.